Nabonidus' Doomed Prayer, Reign & Son

Readers of the Bible may be unfamiliar with the Babylonian King, Nabonidus, probable son-in-law to Nebuchadnezzar. He is not mentioned in the text, but his son, Belshazzar, famously features in the book of Daniel; it is to him that the terrifying hand appears, writing his doom on the wall. Nabonidus was obsessed with the moon god, rather appropriately named Sin. He was in the desert worshipping the moon when Cyrus of Persia invaded Babylonia and conquered it. If Belshazzar was found wanting, how much more the king who left him in charge.

This cylinder, displayed at the British Museum, records some building work he performed on Sin’s ziggurat at Ur. He asks the god’s protection for himself and Belshazzar. It did not work. Both men’s reigns came to a summary end, their empire fell, their lives forfeit. Sin could not made good what the God of Heaven had found wanting.

That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. Daniel 5:30